From the Overview: "After more than 16 years of confronting conflict, violence, and zero-sum political competition, Iraqis are struggling to redefine their country's future and are reconsidering their relationships with the United States, Iran, and other third parties. Since seeking international military assistance in 2014 to regain territory seized by the Islamic State organization (IS, aka ISIS/ISIL), Iraqi leaders have implored international actors to avoid using Iraq as a battleground for outsiders' rivalries and have attempted to build positive, non-exclusive ties to their neighbors and to global powers. Nevertheless, Iraq has become a venue for competition and conflict between the United States and Iran, with resulting violence now raising basic questions about the future of the U.S.- Iraqi partnership and regional security. Durable answers to these questions may depend on the outcome of fluid political developments in Iraq, where mass protests forced the resignation of the government in late 2019, but transition arrangements and electoral plans have yet to be decided."
CRS Report for Congress, R45633
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/